• Sweeney KR, Fritz RA, Rodgers SM. Careers in medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: an innovative approach to specialty exploration and selection. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. 2012 Jul;87(7). 942-8. PMID: 22622212 [PubMed].


Research on resident attrition rates suggests that medical students would benefit from more comprehensive career advising programs during medical school. Responding to this need, students and administrators at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Vanderbilt) introduced a broad Careers in Medicine (CiM) program in 2005 to complement the CiM resources offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). In this article, the authors detail the Vanderbilt CiM program's four core components: career-related events, an elective course, specialty interest groups, and career advising. The authors discuss the program's implementation and its student-led organizational structure, and they provide a critical assessment of important lessons learned. Using data from internal satisfaction surveys and the AAMC's Medical School Graduation Questionnaire (GQ), they demonstrate the success of Vanderbilt's career counseling efforts. According to recent GQ data, Vanderbilt ranks above the U.S. medical school average on graduating students' ratings of overall satisfaction with career services and of the usefulness of key programming. The authors present this description of the Vanderbilt CiM model as a framework for other medical schools to consider adopting or adapting as they explore options for expanding their own career counseling services.